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Name of author Rick Baker, P.Eng.

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Conflict at our offices: is it a foe or a friend?

by Rick Baker
On May 8, 2017

I have experienced some synchronicity around this topic...I have witnessed several unrelated instances...some people have complained about the interpersonal damages done by office conflict while others have applauded the value office conflicts have injected into innovative and creative processes. 

Business empires have been built around office conflicts and 'crucial conversations'. In some cases the empires are bestselling books, must-do and how-to manuals aimed at teaching people how to diffuse, reduce, remove office conflicts. At the other end of the spectrum, we have a touted genius-of-our-time and an empire formed around the legacy of a partially-eaten apple. 

And, interpersonal conflicts create huge challenges in family businesses: parent-child rifts, sibling rivalry, family distrusts. When these entrenchments exist it is easy to determine the cause/fault. It always rests with the other guy! 

On the other hand, according to some experts, strongly-expressed differences of opinion lead to creative breakthroughs. Thick-skinned people locking horns in boardrooms and other meeting rooms...generating many diverse ideas...reaching a single decision...enjoying consensus...working in unison...achieving desired goals. 

Radically different views about Office Conflicts!

What's your personal comfort zone?

Your comfort zone: that's the key area...

What's your personal comfort zone?

  1. How far are you prepared to stretch your comfort zone to accommodate other people's viewpoints? 
  2. How open are you to accept different styles of communication when other people express their viewpoints?
  3. How clearly do you communicate your personal values and rules?

Put another way:

  1. Are you open to 'possibilities and 'new things'?
  2. Are you open to different personalities and communication styles?
  3. Do you know and share these important aspects of your character...telling stories to explain why you are the way you are?
As the ancient Greek maxim goes - "Know Thyself".

When you know yourself and know how to share important aspects of yourself with others you have the opportunity to be part of teams that excel at communication.
Internally - These successful teams may operate in friendly ways or in not-so-friendly ways.
Externally - These successful teams will present a unified front.
From Your Perspective - These successful teams will be inspiring, productive and gratifying.

Workplace High-Pressure: does it cut the feet out from under your smartest people?

by Rick Baker
On May 8, 2017

The Thinking Behind the Tweet

A high IQ doesn’t necessarily mean a high ability to work under stress. In fact, it is possible the opposite is true. Do you assume smart folks operate smart when the pressure is on? If so, perhaps, when the pressure is on people disappoint you.


Emotions & Feelings @ Work | Thought Tweets | Values: Personal Values

Negative feelings cheat us: they take much energy from us and they give little of value in return.

by Rick Baker
On May 8, 2017

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

We feel good when we participate in fair & square deals!

We would be annoyed if someone else came by and started stealing our energy...

To ensure fairness we need to tell negative feelings to go away until they can deliver a better exchange.


Emotions & Feelings @ Work | Thought Tweets

Anxiety: be present, don't fret over it, observe it in real time, & learn what it takes to control it if it gets out of hand.

by Rick Baker
On May 7, 2017

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

Anxiety is in our genes...what we feel now is the legacy of the fight or flight 'wiring' that allowed our ancestors to bring us us.

In right-sized doses, anxiety energizes and hones focus.

In too-large doses, anxiety becomes a demon and destroys quality of life.


Emotions & Feelings @ Work | Thought Tweets

"Fear is (a) an impulse, (b) a habit, (c) a disease."

by Rick Baker
On May 4, 2017

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

That's a quote from Frank Channing Haddock's 'The Culture of Courage', (1910).

What an interesting view of fear.

What an interesting base for growing courage.

When lions charge...

by Rick Baker
On May 1, 2017

We live in a world, surrounded by external stimuli. We perceive stimuli in a variety of ways, some consciously and some not, and we have internal reactions. Certain stimuli trigger emotion-responses. Emotion-responses are innate.

Some examples of emotions [based on the research of Paul Ekman]: anger, disgust, embarrassment, excitement, fear, guilt, joy, pride in achievement, relief, sadness, satisfaction, sensory pleasure, shame, and surprise.

When emotions are triggered automatic body chemistry kicks in. This chemistry has been pre-concocted to bring about physiological change which will accompany/cause behavioural change.  Most of us are aware when our emotions kick in. We feel internal changes and our behaviour changes. All of us, with some diligent work, can thoroughly understand the nature and implications of our emotions, why they are happening and what impact they have on our thoughts and our behaviour. When we take the time to study our emotion-responses we have the opportunity to replace unplanned emotion-driven activity with well-thought-through, logical post-emotion activity.  Like any other desired behavior, this will require effort and practice in order to develop the emotion-response skills we desire.

The first step is to understand emotions...

Paul Ekman’s research provides a helpful ‘platform’ for understanding emotions.

In summary, emotions are not the feelings/mindsets/thoughts we carry around in our brains. Emotions are the short-lived automatic responses our bodies have when exposed to certain stimuli, particularly external stimuli. A commonly-cited example is the emotion of fear. When lions charge at us and we see that happening our bodies, without any conscious effort on our part, quickly generate/release chemicals to prepare us for fight or flight. That’s one example of how the emotion of 'fear' can be triggered.

More thoughts about the emotion called 'fear'.

The next step is to understand our [personal] emotion-responses…


Emotions & Feelings @ Work

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